Friday, November 6, 2009

A Visit from Family!

I started this post a few weeks ago, wanted to include two precious videos of my nephew, and for whatever reason could not upload my favorite one, so now I am finally surrendering to the idea that I should just go ahead and post, even if it isn't everything I ever wanted.
What follows is a crazy-long post about our adventures with Casey's family (namely his mom, Sandy, her hubby, John, Casey's brother, Corey and his wife, Karen and their three darling boys, three and under--Gabe, Gavin and Grant). They were here about a week (flew in from Portland, OR) and we had a marvelous time with exactly six females, six males, six adults, six children . . . yes, there were 12 of us, and yes, six were under the age of five.

It was an adventure, to say the least. Actually, though, it was really great. The most challenging thing was trying to transport all 12 of us anywhere. We exhausted every single seat in our two vehicles, and mostly just tried to stay home.

But we did get to do a few fun things:

From left to right: Haley (17 mo.) Claire (3 yr) Gavin (I think--still trying to figure out when I can't see them full-on or w/personality:) and Grant (twins: 22 months), Gabe (3 1/2 yr) and Ruby (4 1/2 yr)

At the Railrunner train station. Ruby has dreamed of taking "Gabe and the twins" on the train ever since she first went in . . . January? I'm too lazy to figure it out. We took the train down to Belen, which was about a 10 minute trip, but it was perfect for our group of little ones.

Gabe and the twins liked to watch us pass the scenery. It was the first time the boys had been on a train, and only the second time the girls had.

Ruby and Gabe became fast friends. They were so sweet that whole week. Held hands and all. Those Cowart boys are the sweetest!

Karen, Casey and Haley

Corey and Grant (yep, I'm going with my best guess here).

Sandy and Gavin (I think)

John, Sandy and 3/4 of the grandkids. I think we wore those grandparents out!

Gavin facing us (I think:)

Gabe and Ruby were fairly inseperable.

Corey and Karen show the boys some prairie dogs

Sandy shows the girls some prarie dogs

Gabe bumped his head as soon as he crouched in this little "hiding place." Kids are so funny. Every little nook is a hiding spot. It really was a good one.

The sea lions show what a beautiful day it was. That week was PERFECT fall weather. Warm, but not too warm; beautiful. The day they flew out, it started raining like crazy and turned dead winter for a good week. I was not ready for winter. (Thankfully, it has warmed up again.)

Gavin (l) and Grant (r) LOVED the girls' fish (electronic and plastic--we do NOT have pets). Those fish were a huge highlight to their stay.

Sandy and John put on a tea party for all of us one day. Everyone dressed up and we had a yummy lunch on the back lawn, then blew bubbles and shot each other with water guns. A very well-rounded event.

Haley is a little more of a baby than everyone else, and I noticed a trend of pictures that had five children and then pictures with one (her).

Haley did not exactly endear herself to her cousins. That week, she was the bossiest toddler I've ever heard (and have not heard her be quite so bossy since). I don't know what she said, but she sure felt strongly. And she often used her arms for effect. The twins learned to stay away from her. We can safely say she was a bully for the entire visit. Hopefully, they are not scarred for life.

Sandy went all-out. (She likes to do that.)

Even John had a bow-tie. Such dedication!

Aunt Karen reads to the five oldest.


This one I'm pretty sure about: Gavin (l), Gabe, Grant (r)

And Haley again, all by her lonesome.

On Sunday, we said goodbye to John and Corey.

Our neighbors may have wondered what was going on. . . no, we're not starting a preschool.

It's becoming clear why we had a consistent stream of flies in the house. . .

Anyone who knows Gabe knows he LOVES (possibly an understatement) laundry. Thanks to him, I was almost caught-up on laundry, even the day they left. The linens and towels were already done before they flew out. Thanks for keeping me on my toes, Gabe!

He helps his mom so much that he knows which buttons to push. Even the child lock function, which is a little complicated. What can I say? He's a PRO.

Claire says goodbye to their 'Lita (the boys call her Maz). Since the visit, the girls will periodically refer to her as Maz as well.

Gabe was my buddy in laundry and other random things. It was great to have a fan. I think the last time that happened, I wasn't a parent! The fun and friendly side of me isn't always prominent now that I'm a mom.

Ruby gives Grant a squeeze goodbye.

Gabe, Karen and Claire.

The next day, probably afternoon, the girls still in p.j.s, telling 'Lita they missed her. Haley looks a little too happy. . . hmmmm.

Almond butter cookies. I baked them when the cold snap hit us, and my family didn't like them enough to eat them. Most of them are still in the freezer. Case said they threw him off because they looked like p.b. cookies, but they did not taste as good. I had to agree.

Random pics follow: Daizy, the Rio Grande Zoo's six week old elephant was so darling!

This is what we get when we try to include Haley in the kid pics.

Haley, Case and I on the Rail Runner. Told you this is random.

Ruby and Gabe watching Toy Story. This is the part where Sid shows up. Gabe is visibly concerned.

Twins and fish. . . go along so well.

I think this is Gavin

Which would make this one Grant (not sure--I keep changing).

Sandy brought the quilt she made for Haley. It is super soft on the back.

Quick clip of Gabe. I love how he talks.